Sunday, 6 January 2013

And here we go again...

So after the woeful outcome at the last General Synod not to allow women bishops, at least the recent decision by the CofE to allow gay clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops seems like a great step forward. Well, sort of. The problem is with the statement that new gay bishops should remain celibate and repent of past homosexual sexual practise. Which is obviously ludicrous, and impossible to police. The church has said that it is not obsessed with sex and I don't think it is to as large a degree as the general media claim. However, it is giving way too much thought about what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults. To be honest, this is none of the church's bloody business. I personally don't care how you conduct your sexual relationships as long as they are legal, safe and consensual. I do not judge people on the things that turn them on and get them going and nor should the church. Okay, so if we boil it down to the basic objection, it does seem to stand as: but that whole anal sex thing is just wrong, surely? Then if such a thing bothers you, don't think about it. Allowing practising homosexuals into positions of power in the church is not going to mean that anal sex becomes compulsory. And if such a thing repells you, really stop thinking about it so much!

Physical expressions of love within a long and stable relationship are something to be encouraged and not put down as some great sin that is against god. The church does seem out of touch on this, especially when there are much greater things to worry about in the world, which are actually sins, and deeply serious one at that. The situation in Syria. The way the government is allowing the rich to stamp all over our economy and make the rest of us suffer. Climate change. The treatment of women in various parts of the world, including here. These are things that the church should be addressing. Christ fought against injustice. Christ expressed eternal love and tolerance.

One of the elements that does wind me up about this, is the random comments I've seen on the internet where people have been expressing that if this is the church's line then it should be allowed to collapse and good riddance to it. I've been a practicing Christian my whole life, and in my general experience the church has been a place of great acceptance and the expression of the Christian message. Clearly this is not true for everybody, and we should fight until it is. But  I don't want to say fuck it then, let the church crumble. Rather I want to see the church healed. Ritual and structure are important to my faith. Yes, okay, if there was no church that doesn't necessarily mean my faith would dissapear, but the Christian community within my local community is massively important to me, and us as a family. So I'm dismayed, yes, but I will be praying for a way through this.

I think that progress has been made on gay clergy, but guys, seriously, let's get over this worry about how gay couples physically express themselves and concentrate instead on the spiritual enrichment that these people of God can bring to our Christian experience and the church.

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